Readings for August 6th 2017. The Feast of the Transfiguration. Daniel 2:9-14, Ps 97, 2 Peter 1:16-21, Mark 9:2-10, Luke 9:28-43, Matthew 17:1-9
(The Basilica of the Transfiguration on Mt Tabor in the Holy Lands)
It is not always the case but this week it is.
When you type in the word Transfiguration into Google
you invariably get a religious style image.
With most words, like blessed, or happy (last week) you get a variety of ideas.
But Transfiguration seems to engender a sort of narrowly religious idea.
Life would of course be quite boring without transfiguration,
so we should not dismiss these experiences.
I always point to the the birth of my first child as being such an experience,
many men...even rough, shallow guys...attest to this.
There is a sense of the overwhelming awareness of "other",
of change, of awe....all the things indeed we read about in this story...
so we should be thankful for these events
as well as trying to understand them.
There is also a straight forward point made in this story,
and in many of the hymns and songs about this event...
while we are transformed ourselves
by these powerful experience we have to move on from them.
"No," says Jesus to the apostles, "you may not build shrines here"
His inference being that we all must move back to ordinary life
and allow this event to change and transfigure that
'Tis good, Lord, to be here.
yet we may not remain;
but since thou bidst us leave the mount,
come with us to the plain.
It is good to know and experience the supernatural presence of God.
But this is not...in the end
what life is about.
At the best we are to ask ourselves
how these powerful experiences inform and change our life.
It's all well and good to feel powerful change
when your child is born,
when we get married,
or when someone dies
but how does this affect
how you live your life.?
What is the point of continuing as is..after you have had a revelation?
If when our parent or spouse or child dies
we experience the wonder of the grief process
and we find that our understanding of death, pain and resurrection is deepened
What difference does this make to the way we live our life?
You see we are tempted to allow Transfiguration
to only be a religious experience
yet the invitation
that God is offering
is for us to look through and beyond these experiences
and allow them to change how we live
As we see God more clearly in glory
as we hear him speak
what is God inviting us to do with that.
When we understand that God is forgiveness:
how will we forgive?
When we are overwhelmed by the sense
how will we love?
When we understand
how will that compassion express itself in what I do tomorrow?
St Peter reminds us that this is not just (or even) about the supernatural but about the way we have encountered the majesty of God in the midst of life (2Peter: 16-21)
Gather a sense of those powerful moments of your life when you have experienced Transfiguration
When things have shone in a new light and we have had new awareness.
When we do that the next question is to ask:
What is God trying to draw out of me through this experience?
And what will I do with that?
May we never forget that our world was transfigured on this day in 1945 when the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.
We continue to live within the cloud of the Hiroshima bomb, as the petty politicking of the world continues.
The US and Russia strut their macho stuff. They invite the pretensions of North Korea, and China, India and Pakistan parade their aggressive intentions around the world
Lord save us
Can we use this time to pray for the peace of the world and end to nuclear pretensions?
Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.